May 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Jesuit-run Fordham University has buckled to protests led by an LGBTQ student group and will not allow Chick-fil-A to do business at a campus eatery due to past comments by the chicken fast-food company’s CEO supporting natural marriage.
Even though representatives of the Christian-oriented Chick-fil-A reportedly went so far as to offer to partner with homosexual student group “Rainbow Alliance” to help them get established on the Catholic college campus, they were rejected.
“Following pushback from clubs and independent students over LGBTQ issues and menu offerings, the university has opted to decline an Aramark proposal to install a Chick-fil-A in the Ram Café,” reported the Fordham Observer.
The Rainbow Alliance was joined by three other Fordham student groups in fighting to keep Chick-fil-A off Fordham’s campus: United Student Government, Commuter Students Association, and the Residence Hall Association.
“Decisions regarding on-campus dining options are made in consultation with Fordham's student government, to ensure that the choices reflect student preferences in menu and service” said Fordham spokesman Bob Howe in a statement to LifeSiteNews. “The students, via their elected representatives, voted against a Chick-fil-A for a variety of reasons. The University generally accedes to such decisions, absent a compelling nutritional or financial reason to reject the students' dining preferences.”
Jesuit-run Fordham, based in New York City, is the oldest Catholic college in the northeastern United States and was founded by Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841. Like Georgetown University and many other Catholic universities, it has embraced social liberalism, including the LGBTQ activist worldview and agenda, which are antithetical to the Catholic Catechism.
An official statement on LGBT issues by Fordham lists as one of its goals: to “sponsor education and awareness opportunities to challenge systemic discrimination, homophobia, heterosexism, and ignorance.”
The Fordham Observer reports that Rainbow Alliance student activists were hardly appeased by the university’s rejection of Chick-fil-A, calling it only a “tiny step” in the right direction.
“This is something that I don’t want to congratulate Fordham for, like ‘Oh my god, I’m so glad that you can see this. You’re such a good person,’” said Rainbow Alliance co-president Roberta Munoz. “I don’t want to pat them on the back. You can’t say, ‘Oh you’re such a great ally’ when there’s still so many issues with our queer students. Like great, love it, but keep going.”
Regarding LGBT advocacy in education, the Cardinal Newman Society, whose mission is “Promoting and Defending Faithful Catholic Education,” echoes the words of Father Gregory Roth of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: “Any program which leads students to accept identities which are contrary to the Catholic Faith will inevitably hurt students who are trying to live the Catholic Faith … We can and must love the human person, even with all of their sufferings, [but] at the same time we cannot identify with their self-identities.”
Left’s protest against Chick-fil-A obsolete?
Ironically, the LGBT student pressure to block Chick-fil-A at Fordham comes three years after the fast-food giant and its CEO, Dan Cathy, effectively pulled out of the American “culture war” over same-sex “marriage.”
This latest snub of CFA also flouts the recommendation of the leading college homosexual-transgender activist group, Campus Pride, whose executive director, Shane Windmeyer, called off his boycott of CFA after befriending Cathy.
In 2012, Cathy was targeted by pro-LGBT activists for telling Baptist Press that he was “guilty as charged” when it came to opposing the homosexual redefinition of marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said.
But steadfast Cathy was not, at least in his public statements. In 2013, the Chick-fil-A CEO pulled a pro-traditional-marriage tweet after it offended “gay” activists.
Despite all the LGBTQ ire, all Cathy had done was offer a few frank opinions in defense of God-ordained marriage as between a man and a woman.
CFA-affiliated WinShape Foundation also had made grants to pro-family groups like Focus on the Family, but reportedly dramatically reduced its giving to such “divisive” organizations, which are routinely pilloried by LGBT pressure groups as “anti-gay.” Focus on the Family was once the leading evangelical group pushing for amendments at the state and federal level to legally preserve the age-old definition of marriage as one man, one woman.
Remember ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day’?
While “gay” activists castigated Chick-fil-A as “hateful,” hundreds of thousands of pro-traditional-marriage Americans across the country rallied to Cathy's defense, standing in line for hours at their local Chick-fil-A restaurant to buy a meal. The show of solidarity was the brainchild of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who called for a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” to respond to the LGBT Left.
But in 2014, Cathy went even further in abandoning his public defense of God-ordained marriage, saying it was a “mistake” to inject himself into the defense-of-marriage cause. He vowed to stay silent on the issue, although still holding to his Christian beliefs against same-sex “marriage.”
As Forbes reported, Cathy agreed in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the “lingering identity” of Chick-fil-A with “anti-gay groups” that jumped to its defense in 2012 has meant “alienating market segments.”
He regretted “making the company a symbol in the marriage debate,” according to Forbes’ account of the AJC interview.
“The bottom line is we have a responsibility here to keep the whole of the organization in mind, and it has to take precedence over the personal expression and opinion on social issues,” Cathy said.
Profit motive or friendly Christian outreach?
All this came after Dan Cathy had befriended College Pride’s Windmeyer, who in turn softened his tone on the Christian company, including ending calls for college boycotts, in January 2013.
Campus Pride (CP) promotes the full LGBTQ activist agenda, including pressuring college sororities to admit biological men who want to live as “women,” in the name of “transgender rights” (and vice versa for fraternities).
Some on both sides of the homosexual “marriage” debate saw a profit motive in Cathy’s public reversal on defending natural marriage, and his outreach to the Campus Pride LGBTQ activist.
“Is it that Cathy thought Shane [Windmeyer] seemed like a nice guy, or is it that winning over Shane could open up lucrative opportunities on college campuses?” wrote “gay” Huffington Post blogger Jamie McGonnigal in January 2013.
“I think this was a sad capitulation after such a strong show of support from believers,” said Tom Littleton, an evangelical pro-family advocate based in Birmingham, Alabama. Littleton applauded Cathy for reaching out in Christian love to Windmeyer but said, “This was probably more about Chick-fil-A’s expansion.” He called it “a betrayal of their base.”
“Look at all the heat Hobby Lobby took, and their financial expense” in fighting Obama’s HHS mandate, Littleton said, noting CFA’s contrast with another high-profile Christian-owned corporation.
Christian company working with homosexual group?
The Fordham Observer reports that in an attempt to win approval of the Fordham cafeteria proposal, “Representatives from Chick-fil-A offered to collaboratively run unspecified programming with the Rainbow Alliance in conjunction with the rollout of a venue on campus.”
That would seem to be at odds with Chick-fil-A’s founder, the late S. Truett Cathy, who espoused biblical values. Cathy founded Child-fil-A in 1967. Fifty years later, it has 2,100 restaurants in 46 states and Washington, D.C., with sales reaching nearly $8 billion in 2016, according to the corporate website.
Two LifeSiteNews emails sent to Chick-fil-A yesterday inquiring about what sort of “collaboration” was planned with Rainbow Alliance or whether the Atlanta-based fast-food corporation has explicit franchise guidelines for its philanthropy and local partnerships were not answered.
For example, would Chick-fil-A “partner” with a pro-abortion-“rights” group — or reject such an outreach as a violation of its biblical principles? (At least one local Chick-fil-A franchise, in Iowa City, Iowa, has reportedly donated to a homosexual “pride” event.)
According to CFA’s corporate website, Truett Cathy was “known for having a keen business sense, a work ethic forged during the Depression, and a personal and business philosophy based on biblical principles.”
Chick-fil-A is famously closed for business on Sunday (the Sabbath), one of the biblical principles it honors.
But Littleton reminds Truett’s son, CEO Dan Cathy, that the Bible also clearly and consistently proscribes homosexual behavior as sinful, and urged the wholesome corporation that plays Christian music in its restaurants not to do anything to compromise Chick-fil-A’s witness on that issue.